Differences between VMware ESX Server and ESXi Server?

VMware is a free standalone ESXi hypervisor to help companies of all sizes. ESXi is the most innovative architecture, simple setup, and high performance hypervisor.VMware ESXi has support and enables everyone to gain access to VMware’s datacenter technology

1.       VMware ESXi Server has no service console. The service console can able to access to the VMware-proprietary, VMFS file system. As VMware ESXi Server has no service console, there is no SSH access to the server and there are no 3rd party applications that can be installed on the server.

2.       VMware ESXi Server uses Remote Command Line Iinterface instead of service console utilities. ESXi don’t have Command Line Interface with VMware-related or Linux utilities.

3.       VMware ESXi Server is extremely thin and so fast installation and faster boot and we able to run virtual machines on the server, with just 32MB of RAM overhead. But ESX Server need about 2GB RAM.

4.       VMware ESXi Server can be purchased as an embedded hypervisor on hardware. We can buy a Dell server with ESXi built-in inside the server on a flash chip, on the motherboard (embedded). There is no need of installation on disk.

5.       VMware ESXi Server has a Direct Console User Interface (DCUI), instead of the full ESX Server “service console” boot. In this ESXi console, we can configure the root user password, network settings, and a other basic configurations.

6.       VMware ESXi Server has built in server health monitoring features. We can install hardware monitoring software in the service console.

7.      Some of the networking features like Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP), VMware High Availability (VMHA) are configured through the service console are not available or are experimental.

8.       VMware ESXi Server requires fewer patches and less rebooting. ESXi has no service console and it is considered more secure and more reliable. Security, Reliability, and Maintainability, are all major factor when considering a hypervisor.

Most of all VMware recommends using VMware vSphere Client to manage VMware ESXi. You may also query the VMware ESXi host with the vSphere Command-Line Interface 4.0 (vCLI). Note that the free version of VMware ESXi does not allow any configuration changes for the VMware ESXi host through the vCLI. Further, managing a VMware ESXi host with VMware vCenter Server requires a VMware vCenter Server Agent license for each host, which is included in all editions of VMware vSphere.


About Murugan B Iyyappan

Working as a Consultant - Citrix solutions architect with 18 years of experience in the IT industry. Expertise in Citrix products and Windows platform.
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